Thursday, July 17, 2014

So...Fixing Things

A few weeks ago, I posted about a making a few bags. This one is one of my favorites:


But there were problems with construction. I learned a few things, one of which was (is?) that my machine will not sew through 6 or 8 layers of this leather. The sewn attachment of the handles was, to put it mildly, sad. It was ugly, really: skipped stitches and several rows to hold where one (if done properly) should have been sufficient.

What to do? Why, learn something new!

1st bag connection fixed

Rivets! I cut the handle off, and reattached it with rivets on each side of the hardware. Voila!!! and Yay!! This bag is fabulous now: a bit large for everyday, but there are times....when one needs to carry everything and anything. Next? Try the same thing, a bit smaller. I knew how to rivet, and I would practice.

On this bag, I became a rivetting fool. If two are nice:

2 rivets

then three must be better:

bag connection fixed

How about five!

connection before repair

Oops. A bridge too far.

All repaired now, and back to three:

bag connection fixed

So, this bag is canvas and leather, with a woven pocket:

virgo pisces

It's a really nice size, I am happy with the construction, and I like the overall look of it. Now, to weave yet another pocket (!) and make one in all leather. And have my machine looked at, and learn to use it properly. It all takes time. Nice to see there is progress though!

So what else have we fixed around here? Spinning wheel:

Marin spinning

Yep. I bought another wheel. I really just needed the base, to replace my old base that is worn out from years of use. Yep. I wore out a wheel. Some people proudly claim how old their wheels are, but mine? never make it that far. I use them, and use them up!

The older Lendrum base is well traveled, has gotten ricketty over the years. It has been broken and repaired more than once, has been dropped (yikes!) and gets loaned out and then loaned out by the lendee and the upshot? sad, and wobbly.

So I bought a replacement. I really just needed the base, but now I have a few extra heads and bobbins, and the lazy kate to replace the one that went walkabout. It spins so smoothly! Granddaughter learned to treadle too, and I had a wheel to use while I was visiting for the week. I put it to good use:


Spinning in the early mornings, on the back porch, while the sun comes up. I managed to fill a few bobbins:


It is a fast smooth spinner: so much less wobbly than my old one! And then? Something Terrible Occurred:


Yep. Another wheel This is a Crisp Tyrolean Saxony, made in the '70's, the maker long gone. It was a bargain, too good to pass up, and at this point, what's one more wheel? Besides, I had a chair. One. That did not have a wheel sitting in front of it. I fixed that.

I am going to have to divest myself of something someday. But right now, I am having fun with these new toys.

What other fun did we have:

Marin tea party

Tea parties (say cheese!), and ballet lessons:

denver july 2014 079

There was b-ball:
Jackson hoops

(will have to grow into that ball), and sometimes? we just like to "sing":

Jackson sings

How can we not sing? What's not to like? :)

Me? Off to the UK this afternoon. Classes, fiber festival, and some traveling north to the Orkneys and.. North Ronaldsay! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Oh Happy Day

Much has been happening here. Weaving upon weaving, at least 3 nice fabrics off the loom, all in one week! I was on fire. First was the tussah silk:
silk warps first bobbin

This is many several lots of spindle spun silks. I started in May of last year with this:

there were a few trips:
Beach spindle

Blue silk spindles

Plying, using a cork from (ahem) a wine bottle as a nostepinne (any port in a storm):
silk noste 008

Spinning and plying continued through the year, in airports, on planes, some even at home, on wheel and spindle:
silk plying spindle

tussah silk spindles airport

plying on the plane

silk plying spindles SOAR

spindle camp 002

I varied the entertainment by changing colors, often, and without regard to what goes with what. But it was all tussah silk, and I knew if need be, I could over dye the lot. And does all this spindle spinning pay off?

tussah silk fabric

Yep. Tweedy colorful, silk fabric for a shirt. Sett at 40, woven with a red cotton 32/2, it's a year of travel, conferences, family gatherings, weddings, shows, camps, and demonstrations made tangible in fabric.

The second fabric I spoke about last post: 2 ply handspun cotton, and the third fabric I had to keep under my hat until the baby shower could happen:

baby blanket on loom

Yep, another cotton blanket: this time in colors of the coast of Florida, to remind the new mother of her own mother, who likes those beaches:

baby blanket edge

No surprise now, the blanket went off to the shower in time. The new mother has the blanket in plenty of time before the baby comes.

But speaking of babies coming! The baby boy who owns this blanket and sweater:
blanket and sweater 011

was born this morning! Oh Happy Day, happy birthday baby boy, may you end the day (or the week, no pressure) with a name! even though you came a month early. You came on my father's birthday! a happy day, and a good day to come into the world. Welcome, welcome, and happy birthday, oh Happy Day!